change & challenges

How to Be Grateful When It Seems Like Nothing Is Going Right – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“You can’t be fearful and grateful simultaneously.” ~Tony Robbins It may be challenging to step into a state of gratitude during a time of tumult and fear. But now, more than ever, we need to practice grace. The practice of gratitude can lift us out from under the heavy weight of our unsavory thoughts and feelings and move us into the direction of loving-kindness. My Personal Experience with Adversity I have faced difficult moments in my life. One such time…

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How to Avoid a Soul-Crushing Life Crisis – Happiness Article

“Sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an unbelievable breakthrough.” ~Unknown I had hit rock bottom. Now that means different things to different people, so let me explain what my rock bottom meant. I’ll start with my physical health. I was underweight, about twenty-five pounds. My face looked gaunt and scrawny. I was hypertensive, even though I was eating a healthy diet. I also had severe eczema. The itching was so bad that I woke up in the middle…

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A Buddhist Chaplain Shares How to Cope with the Pandemic – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

When I decided over two years ago to become a Buddhist Chaplain, I could’ve never dreamed that I would be experiencing our current pandemic crisis. I chose to become a Buddhist Chaplain after I lost my son in 2010. The experience of losing a child forever changed how I related to the world and how I relate to grief, suffering, and compassion. One of the most profound lessons I learned about grief is that it doesn’t have to follow the…

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How I Know I’m Strong (and You Are Too) – Happiness Article

“If there’s ever a tomorrow when we’re not together, there’s something you should remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.” ~A.A. Milne Two years ago, I was anticipating a monumental shift. I couldn’t tell you what had changed around that time, but my mindset was moving away from the brasher side of my natural, projected extroversion…

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The Challenge of Doing Less When You’re Used to Doing More – Happiness Article

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here. “I became an overachiever to get approval from the world.” ~Madonna I have spent my entire life looking for more. More to do, more to achieve, and more to see. I have always been a planner—meticulously planning everything from vacations to visits with friends to my life months (or years) ahead. I plan because I’ve always wanted to fit in as much…

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5 Affirmations for Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” ~Bob Goff Let me tell you something important. It’s a rule of life, a law of nature if you will. This law is not only a psychological truth, but it’s also biological, chemical, cultural, maybe even metaphysical What I’m about to say is not comfortable, but it’s necessary. People who truly understand this principle are resilient and adaptive. Those of us who…

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Beating the Coronavirus Pandemic: It’s All About Endurance – Happiness Article

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~Winston Churchill A couple weeks ago the Greek government announced that our quarantine would continue “well beyond April 6th,” the original date for which it had been set. We knew this was coming, but it was still hard to hear.  And it was this same moment that my memories as a long-distance runner came flooding back. I started running track and cross country when I was eleven years old. I joined the Los…

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What I Learned About Love and Grief When I Lost My Cats – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~Anatole France Unconditional love. The thought of my cats envelops me with warmth whenever I think of them. Why? Because we’re so connected. It’s an ethereal thing. Beyond words. Beyond reality. Beyond rationality. When I’m holding them, I feel so spiritually connected. They stretch out as I start to scratch their backs, signaling that they like it. A welcome sign I should continue. They stare with their…

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How I’m Finding Hope in the Pandemic – Happiness Article

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell It’s hard to believe the state of the world we are in. It feels like 2020 has become the plot of an apocalyptic movie. A microscopic virus invades planet earth targeting human beings. As mass numbers of human beings retreat indoors, wildlife begins to flourish. Slowly, continent by continent, the human bacteria is eliminated. Only…

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Trauma Can Make Us Sick: How I Found a Key to Healing – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Our bodies contain our histories—every chapter, line, and verse of every event and relationship in our lives.” ~Caroline Myss I could hear my teacher talking, but I wasn’t listening. Staring at the math homework in front of me, I couldn’t get the sound of my heartbeat out of my head. Two times two equals, thump thump, equals thump thump, four. The more I focused on my heartbeat, the louder it became. I could even feel beating in my chest. Noticing…

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What to Do When You’re Stressed, Distressed, or Overwhelmed – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Picture a pattern of upright dominoes that have been positioned just far enough away from one other to highlight the gap between them, but just close enough to hit each other if one of them tips over. Hit a single domino and it sets off a chain reaction. Oftentimes, our own actions, reactions and counter-reactions, criticisms and defensive responses function like dominoes. When we’re not able to access our mindfulness, reactivity takes over.” ~Alicia Muñoz, psychotherapist and author, from Mindful…

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Radical Gratitude: How to Turn Your Pain into Peace – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

My journey to living in gratitude began in 2010. And let me say that up until that time, until I was age forty-five, I was a complainer, griper, and a whiner, with absolutely no reason to complain! Luckily, I was saved from these very wasteful, counter-productive habits when I was given a blank journal one Thanksgiving season by a New Thought minister, who told us if we journaled five things we were grateful for forty days, our life would change…

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Embodied Trauma Conference: a Free Online Event, Feb 3-8 – Happiness Article

Would you say you’ve experienced trauma in your lifetime? Perhaps it’s an obvious yes—if you’ve fought in a war, you’ve been abused, or you’ve survived a tragic accident or natural disaster. But odds are, even if you haven’t experienced these things, you’ve lived through something traumatic—the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or even a divorce. We all go through harrowing events that challenge and change us. If we don’t face the pain head on, our unhealed traumas…

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“If you are going through a time of discouragement, there is a time of great personal growth ahead.” ~Oswald Chambers If I were to look back at my life thus far, as I often do, I’d notice a pattern of events and feelings resembling the activity on an EKG monitor. For every peak, there’s been a valley. For every leap forward, there’s been a stumble backward—sometimes just an inch, and other times, what seemed like miles. Recognizing and embracing this…

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20 Life-Changing Tools, 95% Off—One Week, Starting Today – Happiness Article

First things first, happy 2020! It’s a new year, filled with promise and possibility. If last year was tough for you, it’s now in the rearview mirror. If it was full of blessings and opportunities, you’re likely excited to see what the new year might bring. And regardless of how 2019 panned out for you, odds are you have a goal or two (or more!) you’re hoping to achieve this year. Whatever you’re looking to accomplish, Tiny Buddha’s Best You,…

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Why This Will Be the Year I Stop Running from Pain – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“One has to accept pain as a condition of existence.” ~Morris West This may seem sounds counter-intuitive, but this year I want to let go of trying to avoid suffering. It doesn’t mean that I am a masochist and plan to spend the next year being miserable. It’s more a question of learning to accept life as it is—uncertain, full of surprises, and with its full quota of difficult circumstances. Our Wish for Happiness The thing is that we all…

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The Boundaries That Helped Me Stop Being a Doormat – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Boundaries are a part of self-care. They are healthy, normal, and necessary.” ~Doreen Virtue I’m really nice. Too nice actually. I’ve even been something of a doormat in my life. But what can I say? I was trained that way. There weren’t a lot of boundaries in our home when I was growing up. Instead, my addict mom was either checked out, partying, or raising hell, so I became the adult in the room. I was at her service most…

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How I Found Healing and Happiness in a Third World Country – Happiness Article

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” ~Jim Rohn For years I dreamed of leaving the winters of Northern Ontario, Canada and basking in the warm golden sun somewhere in Central America from October to May. I would joke with my co-workers every winter “This is my last winter here, I swear!” I did that for years until finally, one year, it was my last winter there. But it wasn’t because it was the…

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How to Love an Addict (Who Doesn’t Love Themselves) – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

I grew up in a family of high-functioning addicts. We looked like the perfect family, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. No one was addicted to drugs, so that obviously meant that we had no problems. Cigarettes, alcohol, food, and work don’t count, right? I have come to realize that what we are addicted to is nowhere near as important as the admission that we’re addicted to something. When we try to make ourselves feel better by…

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My Pain Was a Gift and a Catalyst for Growth – Happiness Article

“Sometimes pain is the teacher we require, a hidden gift of healing and hope.” ~Janet Jackson I was becoming more and more confused as to what my feelings were toward my husband. Longing for that personal adult male connection, I started to feel trapped in my marriage. However, I still had a very strong sense of our family unit and my commitment to it. I wasn’t going to do anything to jeopardize the family, even if it meant sacrificing my…

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Your Emotions Will Not Drown You; They Will Save You – Happiness Article

“You weren’t built to be calm, cool, and collected all the time. If you were, it wouldn’t feel so exhausting.”~Ryan O’Connell  There’s a lot of talk nowadays about “highly sensitive people” and “empaths.” It can be difficult for people who don’t relate to these labels to understand, or even believe what more sensitive folks experience. As a culture, we’re just beginning to grasp what sensitivity is and how to manage our energy. What Sensitivity Actually Is It’s easy to get…

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Acceptance Is Not Passive; It’s the Path to Peace – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“The price of our vitality is the sum of all of our fears.” ~David Whyte  Acceptance by its very nature is imperfect; it’s messy and often unpleasant, while ultimately leading to a place of growth, a sense of freedom, and a life familiar with ease. I know this because I have had a lot of painful acceptance in my life, and it has been crucial to helping me move beyond the stuckness of fear and suffering. Years ago, being the…

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What Helps Me Put Things in Perspective – Happiness Article

“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.” ~Douglas Adams The Buddha famously said that life is full of suffering. While I acknowledge there is much suffering in the world, for my privileged life in the West, I like to think…

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When People Want to Help but Just Make Things Worse – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

When I was fourteen years old, my family spent a week of vacation in the northwoods of Minnesota. We rode horses, sailed on the lake, sang songs around a campfire, and all the other things most teenagers tell their parents is lame. Even if they are having fun. After this week of boring, according to me, my family loaded up into our van and began what should have been a five-hour drive home. Except it wasn’t five hours. Thirty minutes…

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How I Found Hope and Inspiration After Years of Quiet Desperation – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” ~Henry David Thoreau How many years do we live with a sense of quiet desperation, faking the connection we have with ourselves? Why do we deny ourselves authentic living and exchange our time for mindless living? Over the years, life silently and slowly eroded my identity away. By the time my son was twelve years old, I’d completely lost touch with reality.…

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The Negative Impact of Not Feeling Your Feelings – Happiness Article

“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.” ~Sidney Banks I spent most of my life scared of my feelings. Having feelings and expressing them made me mentally ill—or so I was led to believe by a large number of mental health professionals. When I felt sad, they labeled me as depressed. When I showed any signs of anxiety, they gave me another list of mental health disorders…

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My Favorite Tip to Ease the Pain of Grief – Happiness Article

“It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now…with its aches and its pleasures…is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.” ~Pema Chodron Many people like to think of grief as an emotional experience. It’s something that dominates your internal, emotional space, and that’s it. But it doesn’t take long when you’re in the thick of grief to experience grief that isn’t emotional at all. You…

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When Someone You Love Is Grieving: How to Really Help – Happiness Article

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~Henri Nouwen It’s hard to stand at the edge of someone else’s grief. There’s the awkwardness. You always feel a little like an uninvited guest who arrived late and…

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Why My Abuse Is No Longer a Secret – Happiness Article

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” ~Anne Lamott To say I had a tough life would be a gross understatement. Growing up in a strict Catholic Italian family I endured my fair share of emotional and physical abuse. I was unloved and suffered great violence at the hands of both my parents, mostly my father. No one ever talked about this. On…

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How I’m Mothering the Wounded Kid Inside Who Just Wanted Love – Motivational, Self Improvement Article

“Bless the daughters who sat carrying the trauma of mothers. Who sat asking for more love and not getting any, carried themselves to light. Bless the daughters who raised themselves.” ~Questions for Ada by Ijeoma Umebinyuo “I failed you…” My mother said this to me after I confronted her about my childhood. That day, I had a clear image of the young girl I was, the girl I had tried to ignore in the hopes of moving forward. But pain…

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